Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
4Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Celerino Castillo Retired DEA Interview in the Shadow

Celerino Castillo Retired DEA Interview in the Shadow

Ratings: (0)|Views: 17 |Likes:
Published by Chad B Harper
DEA'S FINEST DETAILS CORRUPTION
By John Veit
(Celerino Castillo III, one of the Drug Enforcement Agency's most prolific agents, who netted record busts in New York, Peru, Guatemala, El Salvador and San Francisco, was ordered not to investigate US-sponsored drug trafficking operations supervised by Oliver North. After twelve years of service, Castillo has retired from the agency, "amazed that the US government could get away with drug trafficking for so long." In his book Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras, and the Drug War [Mosaic Press, 1994], Castillo details the US role in drug and weapons smuggling, money laundering, torture, and murder, and includes Oliver North's drug use and dealing, and the training of death squads in El Salvador and Guatemala by the DEA.)


The money used by US Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and his entourage from weapons sales to Iran to fund the Contras was a "drop in the bucket," according to Castillo. He told the SHADOW, "To the best of my knowledge, most of the money to fund the contras came through narcotics trafficking."

Tim Ross, a twenty-one year veteran broadcaster for the BBC in Colombia, connected what he called "Ollie North's mob" to drug dealing in that country as well. Ross told the SHADOW that "In late '84, early '85, North brought five Afghani military advisers to Colombia on a speaking tour, three left, two stayed. The two that stayed were chemists who introduced heroin manufacturing to Colombia. He also brought in an Israeli agronomist who helped to cultivate opium poppies."
Ross said that when he started investigating too deeply for North's comfort, however, he was summoned to the US Embassy in Bogota and told, "You're going to lay off this story or you are going to die" by an "ex-marine, the type of guy who used to cut Vietcong throats with his thumbnail." Ross ran the story anyway, detailing Colombia's growing heroin epidemic, but North told his superiors that the story was nothing more than "fabrications, including trumped-up fake Mexican file footage."
Released after Powderburns and partially reprinted in the Washington Post and the Virginia Pilot, 534 pages of North's personal diaries mention drug trafficking. The July 9, 1984 entry states, "wanted aircraft to go to Bolivia to pick up paste, want aircraft to pick up 1,500 kilos." The July 12, 1985 entry reads, "$14 million to finance Supermarket came from drugs." The "Supermarket" was an Honduran weapons depot used by private arms merchants to supply the Contras. North is currently under investigation by the DEA for arms smuggling, according to DEA file number GF GD 91/93. North has denied any involvement with narcotics trafficking, stating in his autobiography Under Fire, "Very little in my life has angered me as much as the allegations that I or anyone else involved with the resistance had a drug connection."

DEA'S FINEST DETAILS CORRUPTION
By John Veit
(Celerino Castillo III, one of the Drug Enforcement Agency's most prolific agents, who netted record busts in New York, Peru, Guatemala, El Salvador and San Francisco, was ordered not to investigate US-sponsored drug trafficking operations supervised by Oliver North. After twelve years of service, Castillo has retired from the agency, "amazed that the US government could get away with drug trafficking for so long." In his book Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras, and the Drug War [Mosaic Press, 1994], Castillo details the US role in drug and weapons smuggling, money laundering, torture, and murder, and includes Oliver North's drug use and dealing, and the training of death squads in El Salvador and Guatemala by the DEA.)


The money used by US Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and his entourage from weapons sales to Iran to fund the Contras was a "drop in the bucket," according to Castillo. He told the SHADOW, "To the best of my knowledge, most of the money to fund the contras came through narcotics trafficking."

Tim Ross, a twenty-one year veteran broadcaster for the BBC in Colombia, connected what he called "Ollie North's mob" to drug dealing in that country as well. Ross told the SHADOW that "In late '84, early '85, North brought five Afghani military advisers to Colombia on a speaking tour, three left, two stayed. The two that stayed were chemists who introduced heroin manufacturing to Colombia. He also brought in an Israeli agronomist who helped to cultivate opium poppies."
Ross said that when he started investigating too deeply for North's comfort, however, he was summoned to the US Embassy in Bogota and told, "You're going to lay off this story or you are going to die" by an "ex-marine, the type of guy who used to cut Vietcong throats with his thumbnail." Ross ran the story anyway, detailing Colombia's growing heroin epidemic, but North told his superiors that the story was nothing more than "fabrications, including trumped-up fake Mexican file footage."
Released after Powderburns and partially reprinted in the Washington Post and the Virginia Pilot, 534 pages of North's personal diaries mention drug trafficking. The July 9, 1984 entry states, "wanted aircraft to go to Bolivia to pick up paste, want aircraft to pick up 1,500 kilos." The July 12, 1985 entry reads, "$14 million to finance Supermarket came from drugs." The "Supermarket" was an Honduran weapons depot used by private arms merchants to supply the Contras. North is currently under investigation by the DEA for arms smuggling, according to DEA file number GF GD 91/93. North has denied any involvement with narcotics trafficking, stating in his autobiography Under Fire, "Very little in my life has angered me as much as the allegations that I or anyone else involved with the resistance had a drug connection."

More info:

Published by: Chad B Harper on Apr 01, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

04/06/2013

pdf

text

original

 
DEA'S FINEST DETAILS CORRUPTION
By John Veit(CelerinoCastilloIII, one of the DrugEnforcement Agency's most prolificagents, who netted record busts in NewYork, Peru, Guatemala, El Salvador andSan Francisco, was ordered not toinvestigate US-sponsored drugtrafficking operations supervised byOliver North. After twelve years of service, Castillo has retired from theagency, "amazed that the USgovernment could get away with drugtrafficking for so long." In his bookPowderburns: Cocaine, Contras, and theDrug War [Mosaic Press, 1994], Castillodetails the US role in drug and weaponssmuggling, money laundering, torture,and murder, and includes Oliver North's drug use and dealing, and the training of death squads in ElSalvador and Guatemala by the DEA.)
VIETNAM BLUES
 Sergeant Castillo was a doper's nightmare during his days in Vietnam. Constantly testing the reflexes andsurveillance skills of his platoon, Castillo had no tolerance for soldiers stoned on heroin or OJ's(marijuana soaked with opium). Compassionate with users suffering emotional problems, Castillo took ahard line with those who compromised the safety of the unit, court-martialling anyone who failed toclean themselves up after two warnings.With addicts dying around him regularly, Castillo vowed to make fighting narcotics his life's work onceback in the states. He told the SHADOW: "Every week we would send another overdose victim home in agreen bag. If the soldier was well liked, someone would pump a bullet in the soldier's body. The familywould be told he died a hero's death. If the consensus was that the dead soldier had been an asshole, hewould be sent home with nothing more than the needle pricks in his arm." Dope and undisciplinedsoldiers were problems Castillo left behind when he volunteered to join a secret sniper unit inneighboring Cambodia in 1971. The Vietcong used Cambodia as a staging ground for raids on SouthVietnam since the US Congress had declared it off-limits to American soldiers. Castillo's twelve-manteam would pick off commanding officers at VC bases with M-14 sniper rifles. "We never missed,"Castillo recalled. "According to the Pentagon, we were never there."These were the first of many US Government cover-ups Castillo was to be involved with in his twenty-one year career as a public servant.
OFFICER CASTILLO, TEXAS DEA 101
 Things were tamer back in Edinburgh, Texas, where Castillo served as a police officer while earning acriminal justice degree from Pan American University in 1975. "I drank in every detail of the lectures,
 
paying particular attention to any mention of drug laws. They would be my weapons in the streets."Serving first as a dispatcher at the Edinburgh Police Department, he moved to the field, using hisVietnam surveillance and combat skills well, often surprising thieves and other miscreants during thecommission of crimes.Being fluent in Spanish enabled Castillo to intimately interact with people on his beat and he became amodel community police officer. His network of informants grew quickly. Unlike the felons in laterassignments with the DEA, most of Castillo's informants were locals, people with families fed up withthe drug trade in their neighborhood. It was when working with federal agents that Castillo saw basicclassroom policing get "thrown out the window."Two senior DEA agents, Jesse Torrez and Chema Cavazos, took Castillo on as an apprentice of sorts,taking him along when he fed them busts too big for Edinburgh's small force to handle. When Castillogot wind of any smuggling over the border, his DEA mentors summoned the federales, the Mexicannational police renowned for their violence.Mexican interrogations involved hanging the suspected trafficker by a beam and pouring seltzer up hisnose. Often a cattle prod, the chicara, named after the cicada, was used to extract names of customsofficials and traffickers working both sides of the border. The Americans would stand by at a distance,listening for valuable intelligence.During other co-ventures between the Edinburgh PD and the DEA, Castillo witnessed the DEA's disregardfor the safety of informants. DEA agents would often barge in minutes after a transaction was made,giving the informant's identity away instantly. Castillo had always waited long enough to create anavenue of doubt in the mind of the suspect, a necessary courtesy insuring the relationship's continuity.Like all the DEA offices Castillo later worked in, the one in McAllen, Texas was cooperativelydysfunctional, with two sets of agents pitted against each other, divided primarily along racial lines.Animosity and suspicion among agents were constants in an organization where precision andcoordination is a prerequisite tomutual survival.
NEW YORK CITY: NO RULES
 After six years in Edinburgh, Castillo joined the DEA. His first assignmentwas New York City in 1980, a far cryfrom Vietnam's jungles and therelatively placid living of the RioGrande Valley. Cocaine was making ahealthy return to street corners andthe city's surviving discos. Crackpipes were making their first gasps inthe city as Ronald Reagan ushered ina new era of borrowed prosperityand conspicuous decadence.Placed in the New York office'swiliest squad, the "Raiders," Castillo watched as dealers' doors were kicked in without warrants, illegal
 
wiretaps were performed, and Miranda rights were forgotten. During a stint at Kennedy Airport, he sawagents rip off traffickers, regularly pocketing cash, jewellery and drugs. Not being one to snitch, theyoung agent held his tongue. "I had always done things by the book. Here they ripped out the pages andstomped on them," Castillo told the SHADOW. "Internal Affairs was always watching, but we wereprotected by the cluster of New Yorkers in DEA's Washington office known as the New York Mafia."These administrative agents insured that the New York office, the country's largest, was immune from"messy internal investigations." Contacted by the SHADOW, DEA spokesman John Hughes denied thatsuch an organization existed, stating that such a thing would, "stick out like a sore thumb."
DEA BRASS: BIGOTS WITH BADGES
 The DEA has never been a pioneer of affirmative action. Most agents do not speak Spanish, despite theAgency's constant interaction with Hispanics. On several occasions, Castillo's safety was jeopardizedwhen Spanish-challenged agents failed to recognize the bust's signal word among the rolling Spanishchatter, leaving him to improvise with armed dealers anxious for their drugs or cash.Spanish-speaking agents follow cases from the mouth of the informant to the prison cell, their superiorsoften performing only administrative tasks. Despite the paucity of their investigative work, DEAadministrators would rush in with the swarm of blue windbreakers the day of the bust, eager to takecredit for everything. Castillo told the SHADOW, "Every Hispanic agent I knew fell into the same trap andwas assigned wiretap monitoring, translations, and surveillance. We worked long hours building casesagainst Dominicans and Puerto Ricans and would have to stand back while paper pushers took thecredit."Being a workaholic brought quick results in the Big Apple for Castillo. In his four years working the city,Castillo orchestrated some of the biggest busts the nation had ever seen. On November 4th, 1982,twenty pounds of heroin worth $20 million were hauled in, one of the largest busts in New York Cityhistory.With every day spent on the streets, Castillo's hatred for drugs grew with increasing vehemence. Castillowitnessed addicts of every ilk, sometimes as young as fourteen, constantly throwing their lives into thetoilet so drug dealers could get rich. It would be a hard slap of reality to later discover that the UnitedStates government was instrumental in saturating American streets with life destroying drugs.
PERU: DRUG WAR FUTILITY
 By 1984, the US appetite for cocaine was peaking as fields in South America were converted toaccommodate the coca leaf. Castillo, the only Spanish-speaking field agent in Peru, continued hisefficient work, making numerous busts in his two years there.Working the jungles, although frustrating for Castillo, was a welcome change from Manhattan's steelmaze and reminiscent of Vietnam. Stymied by the DEA's advisory status in foreign countries, however,Castillo was unable to probe too deeply into Peru's narco underworld. The Peruvian military thoughttheir American advisor would be satisfied torching small labs and shooting down traffickers' planes.Castillo demanded to bust the big labs, the factories run by the cartels. Peru's military however,conveniently kept the larger fields and refineries off-limits to American investigation. The militaryclaimed that the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso, the Maoist guerrillas whose reign of terror includedcocaine smuggling and numerous murders of government officials and civilians) controlled the areas of major cocaine production.

Activity (4)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 hundred reads
Chad B Harper added this note
READ THE BOOK FREE, PLEASE DONATE Powderburns 2012 with photos
Chad B Harper liked this
Chad B Harper liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->